If, like me, you have ever wanted to know how to get to the top of one of the UK’s largest broadcasters and find out what goes on behind the scenes at said broadcaster, then you have come to right place. A couple of weeks ago, I contacted Jamie Hindhaugh, Chief Operating Officer at BT Sport, and he very kindly agreed to answer a few questions based on his career and what it’s like to be part of the team at the Queen Elizabeth Park…
1) How did you first get into the broadcasting sector?
I joined the BBC in 1994 as a call centre operator in BBC Transport Services with the prime function of booking cabs supporting the BBC’s output and staffing requirements. Over the next few years I was promoted to initially supervisor and then the Transport Manager – in 1999 I designed and implemented the first online booking tool for ground transport which helped me reduce the call centre team, before outsourcing it. Whilst then still managing the outsourced contract I took on Travel services and did a very similar thing. Once both contracts were outsourced I was promoted to Head of Pf Procurement Production Services where I worked with production and programme makers to implement frameworks and best value contracts with key suppliers. During this time I also represented Procurement on the Production Management Pan BBC Steering Group. In 2009 I applied and was successful in getting the Head of Production London 2012 role and was ultimately responsible in creating a pan BBC team to deliver the London Olympics, Paralympics and all major events in 2012 across all platforms (TV, Radio and Digital). Having managed the coverage of the Olympics and Paralympics Athletes Parade with Channel 4 and Sky on behalf of the BBC, I left the BBC.
2) Why did you choose to leave the BBC and join BT Sport in 2012?
Firstly having managed the biggest terrestrial event the BBC had ever covered I was searching with what I could do next which would be as stimulating. Secondly when approached by BT, it was clear there was an opportunity to manage a project on a similar scale using all my operational, procurement and production skills within the title Chief Operating Officer . I have never looked back.
3) What was the process of building the newly-found channel to one that can now rival Sky Sports?
Good planning with a clear goal, clear editorial objectives and building a stronger supplier ‘collective’. The success of BT Sport is its engagement with suppliers and partners and keeping processes simple whilst focusing on understanding what our audiences want.
4) Who do you is the best pundit that you have ever had on BT Sport? (tough question, I know!)
I am very proud of all our talent who all bring different personality to BT Sport!
5) Has anything ever gone wrong on a live broadcast?
We lost a few seconds of a Premier League game in season three due to a fuse tripping to protect the team in the OB truck. This has been the only major on air incident. Considering every live broadcast is a ‘risk’ I am very proud of our track record which I put down to good planning and the expertise of our people and suppliers who are all committed to BT Sport.
5) What is the aim for the future of BT Sport? Could we see sport in 3D?
Our aim is to continue to be at the Heart of Sport and to create as an immersive experience as possible for our audiences who are not at the event. I am very proud that we were the first broadcaster in Europe to launch an Ultra HD channel and the first broadcaster in the world to launch live broadcasting in 4k with Dolby Atmos. We have also broadcast a Premier league game in VR and looking at how we extend this offering out. I will not look to launch sport coverage in 3D as for me it does not work and what we now already offer is far more immersive.